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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Sep 4, 2012 8:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: How Keith Joined

Good information on an interesting and important chapter in the bands history with some new to me pieces of the puzzle.Also it is nice to see some Keith quotes which seem to be rare and one I found to be very funny,"what I've contributed to the band as a whole is an added amount of energy which they needed for my taste.. I have a super amount of energy.I'm just a wired-up person and I relate to music super -energetically."

It is funny that you should post a thread about Keith's early tenure with the band,prompted by Dave's Picks 3, I have started to listen to his first 29 show run with the band from late 71'and it has re-ignited my curiosity as to what kind of piano he was playing and what lent to the unique sound of his piano over that run of shows.I understand it was the first tour with an acoustic piano mixed in with a loud and raucous rock band (especially in 71') and the crew was feeling it out, but it often sounded tinny and on occasion almost like he was playing a vertical piano.I would guess that it had something due with the microphone set-up and the actual piano he was playing.I would hope some time you could formulate a post on those shows and his playing,as the music from that period was unique,fresh,exciting and integral to what the band would become.

The new blogspot was full of interesting content and I am looking forward to the 72'-74'(?) material.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 4, 2012 12:53pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: How Keith Joined

Any Keith quote is rare; I was surprised he ever gave an interview, or even spoke at all.

I also wondered about the change in piano sound between '71 and '72. Jackson's Grateful Dead Gear book isn't too helpful; it says that Keith always played a Steinway. (He usually rented one in each city instead of bringing one on tour, so some places might have had different pianos.)
It did strike me that the piano on some of the rehearsal tapes has the same tinny sound as in some of the '71 shows. Possibly Keith used an upright rather than a grand piano at the start.

My guess is the crew finally figured out an optimal way to mike the piano by '72. Bear said they didn't use conventional mikes, but used Countryman pickups. "It was charged with a very high voltage, and thus was very cantankerous to set up and use. It had a way of crackling in humid conditions and making other unmusical sounds if not set up just right, but when it worked it was truly brilliant."

I wasn't planning to write more on '71 anytime soon, since there's a lot of other things I want to get to, but I'll keep it in mind. Many more sources coming up soon on the new blog, though.

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Poster: Monte B Cowboy Date: Sep 4, 2012 3:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: How Keith Joined

Grateful Dead Crew - Winterland "kit" - New Year's Eve, Dec 31, 1972 - piano configuration - see "slide 16" of 34

Comment from Ron Wickersham about photo showing Keith's piano setup:

"The piano pickup system shown was built by Carl Countryman from Palo Alto.
It is capacitive and uses 911 op-amps made by Radiation in Florida."